But I don’t want the read-along to be over! I’ve had so much fun these last eight weeks reading and commenting and enjoying everyone’s posts! Guys, let’s all trade addresses and stuff so we can keep in touch when we have to go back home! Or URLs, I guess. I’m getting old. My point is, I like you guys. Thanks for hanging out with me. 🙂
I was sort of hoping that this book would go out on some amazing high note and that I would explode from the happiness of it all, but of course this is real life and so it didn’t quite do that. But, I did add another story to my list of Awesomest Stories of the Collection, so it was certainly a good week. Let’s see what else happened!
“The Day the Saucers Came”
Niiiice. I liked listening to this first, because I couldn’t skip ahead and see how long it was or see how it would repeat itself, and so I was pleasantly surprised on both counts. It’s a short poem-shaped story about a day when a lot of crazy stuff happened but you didn’t notice. I liked that Gaiman just piles on the crazy stuff and that he makes it sound so good — I just want to say “the saucer day the zombie day / The Ragnarok and fairies day” over and over — and I like that the reason you miss out on it all is because you’re hoping someone will call you. That is some serious hope, people, and I have certainly experienced it in my life! Did I miss Ragnarok? I’m gonna be so mad if I did, largely because I’m gonna have to go repopulate the world now, and that sounds like effort.
This is definitely on my top stories list. I loved listening to it and I loved reading it and I may go do both again because it just makes me so happy. I’m not quite sure why. Let’s see. I like the Epicurean Club and how they’re all, “But I am le tired of beetles and I’ve eaten everything else!” I like that no one takes Zebediah seriously until it’s way too late. It tickles me pink that one should leave on a Sunday to go to Suntown to catch a Sunbird. I love the line, “I am an academic […] and thus have no finely developed sense that would be comprehensible to anyone who has not ever needed to grade papers without actually reading the blessed things.” And I would really like to try some beer-can phoenix. After I go eat some charcoal, of course.
Eh. This is definitely the weak story of the bunch. It’s another poem thing, this time about Scheherazade and her thoughts on making up stories and stuff. So it’s really about making up stories in general, and how you work with what you’ve got and hope for the best. It’s not bad, but it’s not especially excellent and I’ve not much to say about it.
“Monarch of the Glen”
Apparently I’m to end up reading through the American Gods universe backward, seeing as how I started with Anansi Boys and may someday get to American Gods proper. So I’m not quite sure what I’m missing in the background to this novella, is what I’m saying. But I still quite enjoyed it. You’ve got this fellow called Shadow and all he wants is a nice quiet holiday, but then he gets drawn into a very strange set-up perpetrated by our old friends Smith and Mr. Alice. There’s a mysterious house and a mysterious party and a very mysterious tradition that I’m still not entirely clear on. But, there’s also Norse mythology and Grendel and so who needs clarity? Well, no, I would have liked a bit more… I feel like I’m missing something very obvious (like when I couldn’t recognize a vampire in The Graveyard Book) and if someone could just tell me what, exactly, Gaskell was lying about, that would be fantastic. The other thing that kept me from really appreciating the story isn’t exactly the fault of the story, but is that after reading, what, thirty short stories in the rest of the book, I was not quite prepared for such a long story, with its description and sidebars and taking its sweet time and all. I think it’ll probably be much better once I go get some American Gods in my brain and come back to this story on its own, yes?
So that’s it! Thank you all for joining me in this delightful adventure; we really must do it again some time. And maybe this will be the start of a lovely short-story reading habit? I think that’s a good idea!